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Coronavirus – What happens if my travel plans are cancelled?

Holiday cancelled due to coronavirus?

If your holiday or flight is cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, you should let us know as soon as possible to cancel your car rental. If your pickup date is more than 48 hours away, you can use our free cancellation policy to receive a full refund. You can cancel your booking online using our ‘Manage Booking’ facility, you’ll just need your email address and booking reference to log in, or feel free to call us to arrange the cancellation. If your booking is due for pickup within 48 hours you should call us at your earliest convenience to arrange the cancellation and advise this is due to the coronavirus.

coronavirus travel cancelled car hire

What if the car rental company cancel my booking due to coronavirus?

If your car rental is cancelled by us or our rental agent due to the coronavirus outbreak, we will endeavor to re-book with an alternative agent. This may not be possible as no car rental agents may be taking bookings due to the outbreak in the region to which you are travelling / intending to travel. In this case, we will arrange a full refund of your car rental booking.

Can I rent a car in Italy with the coronavirus outbreak?

Italy is one of the major tourist destinations hit by the coronavirus outbreak and areas north of Pisa are on a restricted travel policy. It is likely that if you have travel plans to anywhere north of Pisa at present that your flight may be cancelled, in which case you are unlikely to be able to collect your car hire in Italy. You should cancel your car rental booking separately as soon as you learn that you flight is cancelled. For the latest news see the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to other seasonal cold and flu illnesses including;
  • Cough
  • High temperature
  • Shortness of breath

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus (COVID-19)

Much like any other infectious disease, simple hygiene measure can help limit your chances of contracting the coronavirus;
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Dispose of tissues immediately into a bin
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze / cough into the crease of your elbow or sleeve (not your hands)
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser gel
  • Avoid contact with people who show symptoms
  • Call NHS 111 (or local healthcare provider) if you show symptoms and self-isolate
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

How to self-isolate if you think you have coronavirus

If have travelled to an at-risk area or been in contact with someone who may have contracted coronavirus, or you have been asked to self-isolate, you should:
  • Stay at home
  • Not travel to work, school or other public places
  • Avoid using public transport, taxis, car share services or rental cars
  • Ask for help to run errands (shopping etc)
  • Avoid visitors at home
  • You should carry out these measures for a period of 14 days to minimize the spread of infection.

Coronavirus conspiracy - was coronavirus predicted?

It has emerged that a Dean Koontz novel written in 1981 apparently predicted a deadly virus originating from Wuhan. In the novel, the virus is depicted as biochemical weapon named Wuhan-400 after the city in which is was developed. Conspiracy theorists have been keen to jump on the story with all manner of coronavirus conspiracies.

coronavirus predicted by dean koontz the eyes of darkness
Image credit - Nick Hinton / Twitter

The novel is quoted as saying;

“They call the stuff 'Wuhan-400' because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the city of Wuhan”

“Wuhan-400 is a perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. And like syphilis, Wuhan-400 can't survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute, which means it can't permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent microorganisms can”

coronavirus prediction sylvia brown end of days

Another publication, a book conveniently named 'End of Days: Predictions and prophecies about the end of the world' which was co-written by Sylvia Browne (a psychic and spiritual teacher) and published in 2008 is quoted as saying;

“In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments”

Both conspiracy theories have been shut down as whilst both claims have some relevance to the current coronavius outbreak, neither have much factual credit.

Why Dean Koontz did NOT predict Coronavirus

  • There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 is a laboratory made infection contrary to the fictional books claim that “it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the city of Wuhan”
  • It is believed the virus originated from bats debunking the books claim “can't survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute”

Why Sylvia Browne did NOT predict Coronavirus

  • Whilst no vaccine has been developed as yes, the human immune system does fight the disease and a mortality rate of between 1-2% contradicts the “resisting all known treatments” prediction
  • The book was written shortly after the SARS outbreak, a similar virus

Phil Partridge
Posted: February 29, 2020 by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Saturday, February 29, 2020
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